More change you can freaking believe in

Washington Post:

The Obama administration rescinded most of a federal regulation Friday designed to protect health workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable on personal or religious grounds.

The Health and Human Services Department eliminated nearly the entire rule put into effect by the administration of President George W. Bush during his final days in office that was widely interpreted as allowing such workers to opt out of a broad range of medical services, such as providing the emergency contraceptive Plan B, treating gay men and lesbians and prescribing birth control to single women.

The new regulation, which goes into effect in 30 days, also ensures that no federal money can be used to “support coercive or discriminatory policies or practices in violation of federal law.”

The Bush regulation, if enforced, would have cut off federal funding for thousands of entities, including state and local governments, hospitals, health plans and clinics, if they did not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other employees who refused to participate in care they felt violated their personal, moral or religious beliefs.

// more


110 thoughts on “More change you can freaking believe in

  1. First – how cool and lucky

    I just finished editing the budget speech and have sliced and diced the pieces into several small clips. If anyone wants to write about the budget, government shut down, pell grants, how the president works with others, etc. I would be honored if you used one of these clips.

    In the future if there is a big video (budget talk was 1 hour) that you would like to see cut into smaller chunks, send me a note.

    The sensible approach of the President as he talked about the budget was such a contrast to the crazies of the Repubs

  2. BWD, I need faster eyes. I am so glad they got rid of that rule. This will be welcome in locations where people have access to limited recources.

    Here is a good take on the “GOP FP coming up short.”

  3. BWD, I wanted to say thank you for continuing to provide us with such useful information. You are a jewel!

  4. HOORAY! About time.

    I have watched a similar event over here in Ireland, which is about 99% Catholic. Finally….Finally, we are getting the morning-after pill dispensed and not only that, dispensed without a prescription. This is going to end a lot of the going to the UK for an abortion trips.

  5. The House has been very busy today:

    The House voted 239-187 to bar funding to implement the Affordable Care Act.

    The House voted 240-185 to bar any federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

    But not to worry, the House also voted 148-241 against amendment to bar Pentagon use of govt funds to sponsor NASCAR race cars.

    These people really give me the creeps.

  6. Most of these are for show and will be stripped out when combined with the Senate budget.

    At least that is my understanding.

  7. And as if that was not enough, now they just voted 241-187 on a second amendment to bar federal funds to implement ANY PROVISION of the Affordable Care Act.

  8. Thank goodness for this one! The thought that some pharmacist or nurse or other health professional could refuse to treat someone for whatever personal reason was truly scary. They are entitled to their personal beliefs and I encourage everyone to live their own lives by their beliefs, but no one has the right to try to make others do what they want them to do. Let’s keep medical decisions between patients and their doctors. If a person can’t fully perform his/her job because of their religious beliefs then they shouldn’t be doing that job. It’s like saying a teacher who doesn’t believe boys and girls should be in the same classroom can just refuse to teach the boys and send them out to recess all day. And if their parents object they can just send their boys to some other school that will teach boys. Or like a police officer saying he/she won’t arrest someone who mugs people on the subway because he doesn’t believe in public transportation and if people don’t like it they can go use some other form of transportation, like the bus. Republicans know that the public doesn’t support their anti-choice views and they can’t overturn Roe v. Wade, but they are still trying to have the same effect by limiting women’s options so much that it doesn’t matter if abortion or birth control are legal because they just won’t be able to access it anyway. Thank goodness for President Obama working to undo much of the damage the republicans have done.

  9. And now, House votes 237-191 to bar federal funds from being used to pay the salaries of govt workers that try to implement Affordable Care Act.

  10. Add Sen. Bingaman to the list of retiring Senators. While he’s one of the good guys, his seat should be a safe hold as President Obama I believe is in the 60% range in NM and the GOP bench is wanting. Martin Heinrich or Ben Ray Lujan would both be solid Dem candidates. As long as Denish and Richardson don’t throw their names in and screw things up.

    We need to get some GOP senators to retire to make their seats competitive. Kyl opened up AZ a crack, but nobody like Conrad where they basically give the seat over. I guess Snowe getting out of the way might be the closest chance of making that happen, but Maine elected a teabagger Governor, so who really knows what’s up in Maine.

  11. They are idiots. If they think this is what will make them popular and get them back in power, they are sadly mistaken. They always fall for their own rhetoric about “speaking for the American people” even when poll after poll shows that they don’t. They will pay the price for their complete lack of progress and wasting of time and money at the ballot box in 2012. None of this will make it into law and they know it but yet they waste time passing unpopular bills just to show the public how much of an utter waste having them in office is.

  12. Are these amendments on the budget or stand alone bills? If it’s the latter they’ll never see the Senate floor. If they’re part of the budget amendments then the Senate will have to address them.

  13. Can i say how much i despise Politico? Beside being GOP shills, they have no respect for the president. They always phrase their stories in a mocking and condescending way. They make me sick. Assholes.

  14. But the House just rejected 147-281 an amendment to cut federal funding for Congress by an additional 11%.


  15. NLinStPaul

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. Personal accounts like your really move people. We are a strong group, we will do what needs to be done to keep medical rights for women.

  16. This is very welcome in Montana. There were some pharamacist in small towns who refused some birth control pills, etc to women who have to drive hours to another pharmacists(?) they are poor and can’t afford to. This was such a horrible thing. Thank you Mr President!

  17. The OFA blog is totally infested with trolls today. They are upholding Gov Scott Wallace’s choice to undermine the Unions in WI.
    We are in for a very rough ride as it has been suggested that the Koch Bros. meeting held a few weeks back that Supreme Court Justice Thomas attended may have set a strategy to get rid of the Unions as a re-election force for the Dems. That added with the Citizens United decision may obliterate the Democratic Party.
    The great legislation we have gotten through in the last legislation is getting undermined daily with this new House and the Republican Governors are doing it in the states run by the GOP.
    I continue to be happy for this format to come to without the heavy troll traffic of OFA.
    The ACA is so important in needing protection. Why oh why can the Tea Partiers not identify with the average American workers? Are they just so selfish that they don’t get anything unless it hits home.

  18. I don’t know why nobody is doing anything about those trolls over there. You’ve got three people just killing the place. It’s a stunning incompetence by the moderators.

  19. Not moderating th OFA blog is killing it. For being so tach savvy you’d think they’d be on to the fact that it’s getting trolled by paid ops.

  20. My question is why are so many Democratic legislators announcing of late they are retiring? Are they handing things over to the GOP on purpose? Or are they just not wanting to be in a hard fight to win back the people’s country? I also wonder if it is because it is so hard to raise the money to run now. If we keep having so many Democratic retirements the Senate could easily turn GOP too.

  21. I agree when making a personal decision for a career personal values must come into play. If a person cannot perform a job as legally required due to personal views that needs to be taken into consideration when choosing a career. That follows the personal responsibility rule the GOP is always preaching.

  22. Yeah, BWD, Politico is right up there on my most annoying list. This animated video has been around for awhile but it always makes me feel better. It cleverly skewers Politico’s vacuousness and their short sighted “Win the Day” journalistic philosophy.

  23. I’m listening to Randi Rhodes who is saying that the Koch Brothers have 17 facilities in Wisconsin and are behind the union busting. We seriously need a nationwide boycott of this despicable company. I already refuse to purchase its consumer products which include Brawny paper towels. I wish there was a way to find out which companies buy their products so that we could threaten them with boycotts.

    These Koch Brothers’ power must be neutralized by the power of the people.

  24. Great, WhatIsWorking…

    Have you seen this? Of course, you have: đŸ˜‰

    Winnin’ The Future: President Obama’s Budget

    To win the future, we have to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world, tapping the creativity and imagination of our people. We have to take responsibility for our deficit, by investing in what makes America stronger and cutting what doesn’t. And we have to reform our government so that it’s smarter, leaner, and better able to take on the challenges of the 21st century…

    View an interactive breakdown of where your tax dollars go in the Federal budget…

  25. Am I the only one who has this little inkling that this union busting just may have awakened a sleeping giant? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

  26. It doesn’t help when there is also a handful who for some godforsaken reason can’t help responding to the troll idiocy. I really don’t understand why anyone would want to interact with such ugly ignorant snipers. But day after day they take the same bait and the whole thread is totally screwed. It makes me sick.

    I think if there is an obvious thug knocking on your door wearing a sign that says, “I want to rob your home right now,” you don’t answer the door, invite them into your living room and have a discussion with them about how wrong it is to commit burglary. Once people respond to troll bait, the trolls begin to feel they are now part of the community and return again and again and again. And before you know it, it’s been 2 years and they are still there having the exact same asinine conversations with the same people taking the same troll bait. Today, I’m really feeling absolutely topped out on it.

  27. Please remember that the HOUSE has the purse strings. They are passing all of this crazy stuff to use as bargaining chips with POTUS.
    These people are DANGEROUS! Make no mistake about it.

  28. I think you’re right. Boehner and company know its for show. No way any of this makes it out of conference when both houses reconcile.

  29. I gave up Mardi Gras paper towels about a year ago when I learned about the Koch Bros and their Billion $$$ hate attack on President Obama. Via wiki:

    Among Koch Industries’ better known subsidiaries across various industries[15] are:

    Georgia-Pacific paper and pulp company, maker of Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper, Mardi Gras napkins and towels and Quilted Northern toilet paper.
    Invista, a polymer and fibers company that makes Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra fiber, among other products.
    Koch Pipeline Company LP, that owns and operates 4,000 miles of pipeline used to transport oil, natural gas liquids and chemicals.
    Flint Hill Resources LP, that operates oil refineries in six states.
    Koch Fertilizer, LLC, owns or has interests in fertilizer plants the United States, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, and Italy, among others.[16][17] In October 2010, a plant in Venezuela was nationalized by the government.[18]

  30. I think you’re right, Tien Le. So many of these folks voted GOP. Now the chickens have come home to roost. They see now they were played, big time. That the GOP doesn’t care about anyone except the rich. I guess all of those folks who turned this country over to the GOP didn’t believe they could become targets.

    Randi Rhodes is playing a clip of Limbaugh calling teachers pigs and freeloaders. This is what the GOP led by Limbaugh, the Koch Brothers, Fox, etc. think of the American people they’re constantly claiming to be representing.

    I hope America has awakened because it’s going to take everyone to stop these GOPers from doing more damage to this country.

  31. I just read on Facebook that the Republican TeaParty is planning to bus their people into WI tomorrow for the protest so hold onto your hats because I am sure they plan to muck things up out there. Folks are pleading with everyone to remain peaceful in their demonstrations.

  32. But keep in mind that they have their greedy right-wing hands in everything: (via wiki)

    pulp and paper
    commodities trading
    natural gas

  33. The blog should have been revamped a year ago in preparation for the 2010 Election. They will not delete the trolls because people engage them in conversations instead of just reporting them and ignoring them. I have spoken with OFA on more than a couple of occasions and because of the way that site is setup for interaction and volunteerism they won’t delete the IP addresses so although these idiots keep getting their accounts deactivated they just sign right back up with a new gmail address.

    You are right the site needs to be re-done completely.

  34. Only Conrad’s is a sure loss, and he was probably going to lose anyways. Maybe Dems can find some lightning in a bottle with a fresh face.

    Webb retiring could be a plus as he hates campaigning and this race will need energy. At worse this is a neutral as Dems lose incumbancy advantage, but pick up a better campaigner/fundraiser. Also Webb probably would have found himself running against the top of the ticket too much, whereas Kaine/Perriello will be much more in line.

    Bingaman is near 70 and probably just wants to retire. It should stay in Dem hands as Obama polls in the 60%+ range in NM.

    Lieberman could have split the Dem vote and cost the Dems the seat. With Rep Murphy running and Lieberman out, the seat is probably considered safer.

    Republicans Hutchison and Kyl are retiring, Ensign will need to make up his mind sooner than later. Kyl retiring opens a small window, as would ensign deciding to run for re-election.

  35. oh good grief- these tea partiers have been attempting to foment a violent clash since their inception. I put nothing past them, absolutely nothing.

  36. Luckily, teacher unions aren’t (a) stupid, and (b) violent.

    Maybe they’ll teach the teafolk reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic while they’re among them.

  37. Yikes.

    I just got an email from DFA because I signed up for the ‘virtual march’ to support them and the email relayed a personal story that was so touching. I just can’t imagine why their fellow Americans would want to devastate all of these lives.

    I’m praying for the best this weekend.

  38. Is it me or did I see a Don’t Tread On Me Flag in the Wisconsin crowd last night on Rachel’s show last night. I think this effect the teabaggers just, like the goverment shutdown will.

  39. Tien Le – I’m in total agreement with you. The fact that we in this country have to protest in the street for individual and collective rights in 2011 – at the same time protests are being held in hugely repressive countries around the globe – should, hopefully, give more Americans pause.

  40. lol, what are they going to chant? “Power to the elite!” “Fight for your right to work harder for less money” “Serfs and feudal lors; it’s just the natural order of things”???

    Hmmmmmm, if the teaparties are so popular, why do people need to be bused in to counterprotest? Astroturf. As someone noted in another thread, one of the many problems with Citizens United is that it allows corps to mislead voters through large ad expenditures, but those corps can’t protect those politicians put in place from popular will. I guess busing in the Koch brothers’ teapartiers is an effort to counter this.

    But I’m feeling really optimistic donna. The left is awesome re: peaceful protest. Like that nuclear physicist with Parkinson’s who sat quietly while rabid teapartiers threw money and spat out invective:

    Who ended up looking the fool and giving a black eye to his movement? The teapartiers will be on their best behavior because they don’t want to risk video of that type. If in fact they are silly enough to pull stunts like that, video is going to be everywhere.

  41. They’re going to be way outnumbered and cell phone cameras are going to be everywhere looking for teapartiers to act up. Act of desperation IMO.

  42. Looking at the republican votes on the spending bills can I just say how much I despise the GOP? We must really work on the Senate to make sure the democrats have the guts to let all of these hateful, garbage bills DIE!

  43. Intel announced a new $5B fab facility that they will build in Arkansas. That’s thousands of jobs.

  44. ^^I’m emailin’ Mitch Stewart (Director, OFA), Jeremy Bird (Deputy Director, OFA), and maybe, even Plouffe, about the OFA blog troll problem!

    There’s a possibility of no moderatin’ and/or poor moderatin’ of it…Why?!

    But, of course, my email(s) is amongst thousands or millions. But, oh well… đŸ˜‰

    Bird is also on Twitter… @jeremybird tryin’ to campaign to get Stewart on there!

  45. OFA is infested with trolls and I spend most of my time copying their post and reporting to administrator. I asked adm. to clean up the blog or close it down. I have the blog posted on my face book for newbies to go to and join in preparation for 2012. My fb friends find it objectionable to go there.

  46. That’s one of the things that interests me about these people. For all their claims about thinking they know what the founding fathers were thinking, they seem to have no sense what-so-ever of history and how the unions came into being. Seems like the Koch Brothers don’t recall how strong and determined and organized and powerful the unions can be when they want to be.

    So yeah, bus in your head-bashers, see how that plays on youtube. Now that the teachers have had three days to prove that they’re non-violent, if any violence did erupt, and I sincerely hope it does NOT, then the average person who doesn’t watch fox will have no trouble drawing the correct conclusion that it was the tea party who acted out.

  47. I don’t believe Costco is one of the big bad Corps. They are great to their employees. I will have to find out.

  48. The CEO of Costco donates mostly to Democrats. And they have long term employees simply because they do take such great care of them.

    Wal_Mart was a lot better when Sam was around. It turned bad when the sons took over.

  49. Double your Hooray! I did some volunteer work for a rape crisis group and we were told off the record to advise women against going to certain facilities because they would not get the MAP.

    This is so important for women. I’m sick of some jerk in a pharmacy or facility refusing to fill prescriptions or “practicing” medicine without license or conscience.

  50. Repubs are leaving too. AZ Senator Kyl has announced his “retirement” and the sharks are gathering here. I hope Gabby Giffords continues her miraculous recovery because I would really like to see her run for Senate here.

  51. Kyl was probably going to have a tough race here in AZ anyway, especially if Jeff Flake chose to challenge him, which was a possibility. Also a lot of Dems here were pushing for Gabby Giffords to run for this seat. This still could happen if her recovery continues as well as it has been.

  52. Thank you for sharing that. My youngest daughter had a similar problem and was prescribed BC herself at 14. I would have gone ballistic had anyone tried to dictate something counter to what her doctor thought best.

  53. Agree about Costco, one of my nieces worked for Costco and loved it because they were so willing to work around the demands of her college schedule.

    Walton’s heirs are a bunch of money grubbing do nothings. His original vision for Walmart was perverted when he died.

  54. I think you are very right about this. Workers have been seeing their rights eroded for years. Teachers and municipal employees are the new scapegoats for failing local governments facing fiscal shock. We have been seeing that here in AZ, too. I think this will back fire big time and unions will unite and get stronger.

  55. Bingaman has been at it for five terms now and never had a lot of energy to begin with. I think he realizes the Senate has changed and not for the better. Not sure who we have waiting in the wings. Dens lost a lot of ground to Hop in November.

  56. Love that, theboysisters. Thank you so much for sharing this here. The “third eye” is a powerful metaphor in a lot of spiritual teaching. We are all presumed to have one but so few actually use it.

  57. Hey Jacqueline, isn’t it funny how our grassroot organizers are on the opposite side of the teabaggers. They are much more intelligent and actually fight for the middle class instead of the corporations.

  58. Donna, I have been holding my breath, hoping this group would stay under their rocks. They are a bunch who like to bring guns and ridicule people.

  59. Sounds like a great idea; perhaps people can use the thread spaces attached to each picture for specific blog entries or conversations.

  60. Amen.

    The 111th Congress under Nancy Pelosi worked hard and if it were not for the lazy deranged GOP Senate all those 400+ bills she passed died on the vine. The 112th Congress is the most lazy I’ve seen since the Bush years. They work two weeks then off one week? Good work if you can buy it.

  61. I wish they would build it in a blue state, like CA, WA, or somewhere where everyone has to carry a gun. I am glad they are investing here though.

  62. I do not shop at Wal-Mart and never will. I would rathter pay three time the amount from a local non-box store than to pay cut throat prices at that cut throat store. You are cutting your own throat if you shop at Wal-Mart. They destroy communities and they ask the cities to subsidize the land which means taxpayers have to make up the difference in property taxes.

  63. I hope so. People need to boycott Faux news. I wish I were in WI, I’d pass out so many of those bumpersticks that say, “Boycott Fox News, they stand behind Gov Walker”.

  64. I remember the guy who threw money at the guy with parkinson. When his name came out he apologized because his wife, children, and neighbors saw what a jerk he was.

  65. That’s my take also. This is desperation! Busing people from other states to stir up violence will not win Walker support from the people of Wisconsin. I am also not sure that law enforcement people in Wisconsin are comfortable with Walker’s assault on Unions. I bet Police, firefighters, and State troopers realize that their unions may be next if Walker is successful in bursting unions for teachers and other government workers. Teabaggers, who may be planning assaults on peaceful protesters, should not count on 100% support from Police and State troopers. We have already seen the firefighters, who were exempted from Walkers plan to destroy unions, come out in strong solidarity with their fellow workers.

  66. Awesome news! My wife’s parents and I were just talking about this issue last weekend. We were like, “People should know when they plan to become pharmacists that they will most likely have to fill birth control prescriptions for single women. You can’t just pick and choose who you want to help.” Thank goodness Obama and Co. got rid of that silly loophole for religious sticklers.

  67. I agree – the Arizona location was the only negative in that article. But, I guess the whole state can’t be penalized for the craziness of those who have been elected to represent them (and their crazy followers).

  68. This is what I don’t understand. How do the right wingers think they can win elections (even with the big money backers) when they treat Americans so badly like this. I mean, can people hate themselves this much, that they will continue to vote for the same Republicans who want to treat them like the dictators being ousted in the Middle East? It’s unbelieveable. And very sad.

  69. I had to run away from OFA about two months ago. I had high blood pressure every night, and just couldn’t handle the trolls. It’s a shame – we really need that gathering place.

  70. Great job, President. This is an example of real “faith” in action, instead of the “thou shalt nuts.” Stay on course, Prez.

  71. The Revolution will be tweeted…

    Women of all ages join the call for the government’s ouster in Bahrain – @RoxGBell

    Richard Engel, of NBC News, posts picture of protesters celebrating after reclaiming Bahrain’s Pearl Square

    Activists arrested in China over calls for a ‘Jasmine Revolution;’ ‘Jasmine’ blocked on internet searches – AP

    Thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain stream into Pearl Square after riot police retreat – Reuters

    Photo: Bahraini army officer who sided with the anti-government protesters kisses a demonstrator’s hand – @Alshajjar

    Egyptians celebrate late into the night to mark one-week anniversary of end of Mubarak’s rule – Reuters

    Protests in Jordan: At least 8 injured in clashes between government supporters and opponents – Al Jazeera

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